Working out Smart
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BREAKING DOWN 'Exercise'
Some men find these muscles by imagining that they are trying to stop the passage of gas. Squeezing these muscles gives a pulling sensation; these are the right muscles for pelvic exercises. It's important not to contract other muscles. Some men need biofeedback to help them target the right muscles. It may also be easier to contract the muscles for just two or three seconds at first.
That puts more weight on the muscles, boosting your workout and improving your control. Seeing results with any exercise takes time, so be patient. If you do Kegels three times a day, you should see better bladder control in three to six weeks -- some men see it even sooner. Try keeping a record of your urine leakage each day to help you notice improvements.
Give your doctor or urologist a call. They can offer tips on how to find and successfully exercise the right muscles. The most effective exercises are the ones you do regularly.
To help you get into the rhythm of doing Kegels, try these simple tips:. So instead of choosing the treadmill for the calorie-burning factor, or the elliptical trainer your friend recommended, figure out which machine feels best to you, he suggests.
Nashville exercise physiologist Kathy Alexander agrees: But how do you know which machine is likely to feel right to you? Here's what you can expect from the most popular cardio machines out there, along with some tips on getting the most out of your workout.
Here's the lowdown on what you can expect from some of the machines you're likely to find at your local gym. The treadmill burns the most calories of any of the cardiovascular machines available at most gyms, says Alexander.
You can expect to burn about calories per mile, walking briskly. Stamford notes that a treadmill can be adapted to many different fitness levels by increasing the speed from walking to running or by adjusting the incline.
But even walking may be too much for someone who is overweight and has joint pain. Every time your foot hits the ground, says Alexander, "the impact forces are 3.
Since a treadmill is moving under you, the impact may be slightly less than that. One more thing to keep in mind: Treadmills can pose a real balance challenge for new exercisers or those who haven't worked out in a while, says Matthew Vukovich, exercise physiologist and associate professor at South Dakota State University.
These machines pack a little less punch on the joints, and either can be a good alternative to the treadmill, says Vukovich. Because you use them in a standing position, you're using lots of muscle mass, so the calorie burn rate is still pretty high. Elliptical machines with arm components can further increase the numbers of calories you burn, says Stamford. All our experts agree that the stationary bike offers the workout with the least impact on the joints.
People with knee pain are often steered toward these bikes, since the impact of body weight is not a concern as it is on a treadmill, elliptical trainer, or stair stepper. But to avoid knee strain, you must make sure the bike is adjusted to fit your body, Vukovich says. Most people sit too low, meaning their knees flex too much as they pedal.
This can put too much pressure on the knee and result in soreness, warn Vukovich. The stationary bike is a less intense calorie-burner than some of the other machines. You'll need to pedal four miles to burn calories, says Alexander. Rowers are more advanced cardiovascular machines. Because you must push with the legs while you pull with the arms, rowers require coordination. They also you require you to engage your core abdominal muscles to support and protect your back.
Because they use so many muscle groups, rowers burn lots of calories. But this machine has several red flags for a beginning or unfit exerciser. Extra weight often comes with back pain , and this is not a machine you want to use if you have back issues, he says.
Choose a machine that feels right. If impact is a problem, the stationary bicycle may be a better choice than the treadmill. More muscle use equals more calorie burn.